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God_of_Awesome Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Dec 29th 2011 at 12:55:56 PM

Black Emperor Hrod

Hrod is a Well-Intentioned Extremist. Every action he takes has a selfless motive behind it, but then he goes about it in a manner that earns him a reputation of being sort of a bad guy. He come from savannah lands within a mountain valley near the South Pole, where human descent leans towards dark colored skin. Around here, he sought to conquer the tribes and kingdoms of his land before being ousted and forced to flee north. Here, Hrod learned from his mistakes and set out anew against the land that he felt was just as chaotic and broken as his home.

The first mistake he fixed was trying to conquer everything sans allies, so he sought out the various 'monstrous races' that were kept in backwater living and hunted down like animals. He promised them civilization and power, attracting more of the smarter forward thinking leaders and eventually subjugating the rest. For the color of his skin, foreign to the lightly shaded people of the north, he became called the Black Prince and for his association with monsters did negative connotations become hung upon that although he took the fame and infamy of the title readily.

The prince brought with him his sorcerous creations, beast-men made from hyenas of his land. His initial idea had been to create a whole base nation and army of them but he failed to instill in them loyalty into them. The spell written into their being to make them follow him broke and they became just another set of warring tribes in his homeland, to this day called the gnolls. He brought a few with him, those few loyal to out of respect rather the spell-work, and used their own experience to fix his second mistake. He created beast-men again, using all the animals he could find instead of one and instilled them, through oration rather then magic, loyalty to him and his cause.

The Black Prince with his army of monsters and beast-men conquered many kingdom. The Prince though singled out those kingdoms who were the most orderly, as these places would be the hardest to conquer and plus he had something special planned for them. He came to these more orderly places, the Free Republic of Intelligent Races, the Kingdom of Valeria, the the Six Nation-States of Lorn, and offered them the lands the surrounded them that he had conquered in exchange for join his empire. He strong armed many into agreeing but was satisfied when he place competent governor in charge of the various sectors.

Now the transition from Prince to Emperor is the transition from man to lich. He became a lich using a ritual that called for a humanoid sacrifice. He denied any of his followers who requested they be put on the slab for him. He knew an easy way this time, just this time, to do something without harming anyone else, he modified the ritual so both sacrifice and benefactor were one in the same since he deduced the whole was he would die anyway. Thus with a knife plunged into his heart, he was dipped into a foul brew and arose without any of his flesh, just bones knitted together by magic. In this way, he crowned himself Black Emperor Hrod. The very knife plunged into his heart is called the Black Heart, his phylactery, and carried on him as sign of his office.

The banner of Black Emperor is a fist clad in black iron clutching a green olive branch over a red background, it represents how Hrod has peace and stability clutched in his iron fist, buoyed by the blood of his own and others' sacrifice. He went on to rapidly conquer for 300 years, slowed down in the next 300 and since 300 more years ago has simply grinded to a halt. He used this time to consolidate power as well as to enact all sorts of diabolical schemes, usually meant to destroy evils over the world. Many heroes and adventurers do not realize they are the pawns of Hrod, steered into tearing down organizations the Black Emperor has deemed unfit to continue. He indirectly and directly toppled corrupted regimes and similarly instated more competent leaders. Sometimes, in his insistent meddling, he has made mistakes, sometime really bad mistakes, but he's too stubborn and too powerful and too assured of his own righteousness.

The modern day Black Empire is a fairly nice place to live in and it's only when you get to the Black Capital do you get much of macabre and gothic imagery Hrod has become fond of. Of course, in the early days, Hrod was obsessed with the ideas of universal equality that he would suppress many liberties to create it, creating a oppressive socialist state. It was only the fact it was his very own empire staring him right in the face, threatening to tear apart in front of him that caused him to bend as he tries to create a utopia worthy to rule the world.

Oh yeah, he plans to rule the world.

edited 21st Dec '12 2:58:27 PM by God_of_Awesome

Sijo from Puerto Rico
Dec 29th 2011 at 1:14:27 PM

[up][up]Interesting idea. Especially if the Incarnation has latitude in how to interpret its commands according to its own nature. A Chaos incarnation in particular would be hard to control...

As for Celestial names, yes, they should be named what they are, but that is just not human nature: the Hudson isn't just "The river next to Manhattan" (does anybody get that reference? wink) it's what the settlers decided long ago it would be called (of course the Natives already had another name for it.) Besides, it'd be boring. Show me your creativeness people!

edited 29th Dec '11 1:14:43 PM by Sijo

Exelixi Lesbarian from Alchemist's workshop Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Lesbarian
Dec 29th 2011 at 1:15:51 PM

Sounds like a pretty well-done well-intentioned extremist.

Though, if we can't find mention of gnolls anywhere outside D&D, I'll have to vote against that bit, unfortunately.

[up] Native American languages name things literally, so, humans do work that way. For instance, "Ohio" just means "big river."

edited 29th Dec '11 1:23:31 PM by Exelixi

Mura: -flips the bird to veterinary science with one hand and Euclidean geometry with the other-
Sijo from Puerto Rico
Dec 29th 2011 at 1:42:27 PM

[up]But Ohio sounds much better than "Big River"- to us anyway, which is the point.

[up][up] Good work, Goa! Reminds me of Doctor Doom (well, what Doom is depicted as sometimes.) Hrod is probably also using the god of evil's resources while only pretending subservience to it.

I like the fact that he used to be Black; how many major African villains are there? But it's just a detail, not a defining trait, which is exactly how ethnicity should be used IMHO.

One thing tho: wearing your philactery in public (and even naming it) is probably not a good idea, as it makes it an easy target. Unless of course, it isn't the real one, just a decoy. ;)

edited 29th Dec '11 1:43:56 PM by Sijo

Exelixi Lesbarian from Alchemist's workshop Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Lesbarian
Dec 29th 2011 at 1:45:58 PM

Well, I speak Irish, a friend speaks Old Norse, and another speaks Italian. We could just use translations of words. Good idea?

Mura: -flips the bird to veterinary science with one hand and Euclidean geometry with the other-
God_of_Awesome Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Dec 29th 2011 at 1:53:35 PM

I've stated before, Hrod gets more backing from Gods of Civilization.

Also, while their is one Big Bad God of Evil, their is also the lesser gods of particular sufferings, embodying people's fears and prejudices.

Sijo from Puerto Rico
Dec 29th 2011 at 2:02:06 PM

[up][up]I speak Spanish myself. But my problem is that I'd like something that sounds foreign to most modern people. Spanish wouldn't cut it. Old Norse might work better.

[up] "Evil" sees itself as THE Master of all evil beings... which is just plain not true, but what did you expect from a literal embodiment of Evil? Still many such beings would indeed work for it. And since Hrod knows many perceive him as evil, he'd take advantage of it and trick the network of evil into working for him/giving him their secrets so he could destroy them.

Exelixi Lesbarian from Alchemist's workshop Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Lesbarian
Dec 29th 2011 at 2:13:44 PM

Hm, "Illit" or "Illu" is the Norse for evil. Irish is just "Olc", which doesn't sound very evocative.

Mura: -flips the bird to veterinary science with one hand and Euclidean geometry with the other-
God_of_Awesome Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Dec 29th 2011 at 2:15:17 PM

Since Hrod is shaping up to be a perfect anti-hero snowflake, anyone care to detail the horrible mistakes he made?

~

The Gifted

Superpowers! In! A Fantasy Setting! Many legendary heroes with stories claiming they had the strength of a hundred men are based on reality, actual men with the Gift of Physical Excellency, claiming they were clever enough to swindle kingdoms, the Gift of Mental Excellency, women so beautiful they could launch a thousand ships, the Gift of Aesthetic Excellency, were naturally inclined to great magic, the Gift of the Magic Paragon, or swordsmanships, the Gift of the Sword Fighting Paragon, could shoot laser from their eyes and their hands without magic, could read minds, lift weights with a thought, control fire and water and earth, the Gift of Energy, the Gift of Mind Speech, the Gift of this and that and so much more.

The Gifts of Excellency are recognized as related Gifts, a single Gift that allows the Gifted to embody their own idea of their most Excellent form, be it mind, body or looks or combinations of such, taken from their mind. The Gift of the Paragon allows the Gifted psychically how to do certain tasks perfectly. And the other Gifts too, all seem to be psychically controlled which creates the other term to refer to the Gift, Psionics.

Exelixi Lesbarian from Alchemist's workshop Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Lesbarian
Dec 29th 2011 at 2:30:28 PM

Nice.

Of course, swordsmanship is, well, kind of a blanket term. An arming sword fights nothing like a longsword fights nothing like a dirk. Something like that would have to be either rather broad (martial excellency) or more specific (sabre excellency).

edited 29th Dec '11 2:31:49 PM by Exelixi

Mura: -flips the bird to veterinary science with one hand and Euclidean geometry with the other-
Sijo from Puerto Rico
Dec 29th 2011 at 2:34:28 PM

Updated the link to Hrod in the main page. Also folderized it for ease of research (and make it look better.)

Still working on that logo, still not happy with the results.

[up][up]Going to eat dinner now, comments later.

edited 29th Dec '11 2:35:54 PM by Sijo

God_of_Awesome Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Dec 29th 2011 at 2:34:58 PM

[up][up]It can be all over the place, how I imagined it. The general rule is, the more focused, the better it becomes.

edited 29th Dec '11 2:35:19 PM by God_of_Awesome

Exelixi Lesbarian from Alchemist's workshop Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Lesbarian
Dec 29th 2011 at 2:46:45 PM

So, someone with, say, the Gift of the Martial Paragon would be intuitively decent with all weapons, while one with the Gift of the Arming Sword Paragon would be amazing with arming swords but mediocre with other things?

Mura: -flips the bird to veterinary science with one hand and Euclidean geometry with the other-
God_of_Awesome Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Sijo from Puerto Rico
Dec 29th 2011 at 3:48:27 PM

Some people would argue against having psionics in a fantasy campaign, but I'm open to the idea (we're doing science fiction already, what with the Schizo Tech.) However, since the theme is "Magic vs Technology", how do we fit psionics in?

My suggestion: as a mystery.

With magic becoming a scarce, precious resource, the discovery of individuals with "The Gift"- who can make superhuman feats without magic- would certainly attract the interest of powerful parties. Of course even the gifted probably just assumed it was just a kind of magic, and only some researchers (and gods) would know the truth, at least at first.

edited 29th Dec '11 3:52:11 PM by Sijo

Exelixi Lesbarian from Alchemist's workshop Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Lesbarian
Dec 29th 2011 at 3:55:32 PM

Well, I assume most of them would be what we in the sociology business call "arrogant bastards."

Mura: -flips the bird to veterinary science with one hand and Euclidean geometry with the other-
God_of_Awesome Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Dec 29th 2011 at 8:24:10 PM

The Gift of the False Artificer

This is different from the Gift of the Artificer Paragon, who instinctively knows how to build clever devices. The False Artificer thinks they are an Artificer Paragon, but the explanation for their devices do not make sense to someone who knows how science really works, the internal mechanisms have no reason to work like the False Artificer says it would. Oh yeah, then it totally does.

In some places, the work of False Artificers have set back scientific advancement for centuries because obviously their theories are true look what they can do but are usually beat out by the fact their inventions cannot be duplicated, no matter how they say it should. Actual Artificer Paragon cannot make anything as fantastic as the False Artificer, but they actually help with the progress of science.

Eyclonus Totally Not A Doctor from Down Under
Totally Not A Doctor
Dec 29th 2011 at 8:37:58 PM

OK, so again I'm temporarily back from the grindstone of being in the hospitality industry.

I like a lot of the progress thats been done. But I think some more work needs to be done on technology.

Is there a single guild or a series of bickering trade unions for engineers?

Are we going to see Steampowered Mecha/tanks? warships? Rapid firing steam powered cannons? Clockwork soldiers? Technology has always had a close relationship to warfare, I would imagine that magic too, would be used as a tool in the hands of the ruling elite to wage wars.

Should we have Peace Treaties that exist to restrict the scale of magic being used in warfare, whereas technology has no such restriction as anyone can work the levers and gears of a clockwork repeater rifle? Are magical organizations lobbying to have weapons technology restricted to avoid competition?

Is the Church Of Truth trying to have things like rifles etc banned like how the Catholic Church sought to have the crossbow banned (I think the nobility might have had a hand in this)?

Sijo from Puerto Rico
Dec 30th 2011 at 7:56:41 AM

[up][up]I like the concept, thought I don't see how you can make it work with psionics. Unless the devices only work when their creator is around.

(Also, we might need a section specifically for magic and abilities. I'll add it soon.)

[up]Personally, I think that precisely the advantage of technology over magic is that everyone can use it, so magic users would be involved in their own organizations while technology would be everywhere. Or starting to be anyway.

The Church Of Truth isn't really a religion, it's a philosophical movement among The Learned to make people understand the difference between science and magic (it's the common folk who think it's a religion) Think Renaissance. Thy also give advice on matters like, yes, which technology is safe to use.

Visuals: This is NOT something I'm asking everyone to do, but it would be nice if each concept were accompanied by a link to an image that sums it up. (Besides, there's some fantastic art out there, both pro and fan.) In these days of Google, finding an appropriate image for anything is a snap. For example: Dragons and Drakes?[1]

Eyclonus Totally Not A Doctor from Down Under
Totally Not A Doctor
Dec 30th 2011 at 8:26:41 AM

[up] I was thinking though, if you were the only person in town who could level an outhouse into flames with a simple hand gesture after years of reading spell books and practising arcane spells, wouldn't you get pissed when some commoner who wasn't gifted with magic and had no inherent abilites, goes and burns something down with one of them new fangled gun contraptions?

Is there a class war going on beneath the surface between nobility who can afford the wizard with the pointy hat and silly words/gestures and the lower classes who have to make do with machinist and their bizarre inventions?

Sijo from Puerto Rico
Dec 30th 2011 at 10:29:29 AM

That's exactly the impression I keep getting from this campaign: that it's located at the turning point between the old, magic using ways and the rise of technology. Sort of High Fantasy meets Steampunk with The Conquest Of The Americas thrown in. Nifty.

edited 30th Dec '11 10:30:14 AM by Sijo

God_of_Awesome Relationship Status: And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson
Dec 30th 2011 at 11:39:19 AM

I imagine a peasant with basic training could use a fire wand as well as a gun, both just need to be sufficiently user friendly.

Sijo: The way I imagine, is that is actually varies. Some False Artificers are the only ones who can make their devices function, while some can tie whatever 'field' of pseodoscience the thing needs to function to it and package it off to send to someone else. You also get things like, the more it deviates from actual natural laws, the more likely the thing will fail to work... or catastrophically work. The rank of power of a False Artificer is marked by if he can make it function without him or how far and how much bullshit he can get away with before the universe lays the smack down on him.

edited 30th Dec '11 11:44:17 AM by God_of_Awesome

Sijo from Puerto Rico
Dec 30th 2011 at 2:07:10 PM

Added section for magic and moved some stuff there.

I think I finally have a good logo... had to make it myself, none of the generators I tried satisfied me. However I made it in MS Word and have no idea how to turn it into a format that can be uploaded to TVT.

Better images for Drake [1] and Dragon [2]. Good?

Also: Evil (and Good) [3] (OK, this one is epic enough to deserve some epic music too [4])

edited 30th Dec '11 2:32:15 PM by Sijo

Exelixi Lesbarian from Alchemist's workshop Relationship Status: Armed with the Power of Love
Lesbarian
Dec 30th 2011 at 2:21:27 PM

Magical devices being used by laymen seems to defeat the rivalry issue to me. Tension would be more natural if non-magicians can't use magitech or magical implements.

Hm, Sorin Markov (my avatar guy) looks a lot like a Wraith with his Game Face on.

edited 30th Dec '11 2:22:49 PM by Exelixi

Mura: -flips the bird to veterinary science with one hand and Euclidean geometry with the other-
Eyclonus Totally Not A Doctor from Down Under
Totally Not A Doctor
Dec 30th 2011 at 5:36:50 PM

[up]Markov's face is always his Game Face.


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